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Subsistence Agriculture on Communal Lands (near Antsirabe)
Many of those involved in the digging at sapphire mining sites were there in hopes of earning enough to buy agricultural land and zebu.   There is often little incentive for laborers to manage environmental problems on communal lands where many diggers work for part of the year. Some Zebu are pictured here along with people working in a rice paddy.  Rice is an important staple crop in Madagascar and just one of the signs of the Indonesian influence and ancestry that is unique to this part of Africa.